The Stars offered a lesson to the young players of the Canadian

Alexis Belanger-Champagne, The Canadian Press

MONTREAL — In a week with more ups than downs, the Montreal Canadiens showed their two faces to their fans.

First there was the beautiful face. One of the fiery and confident youngsters who came from a two-goal deficit to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins before crushing the Arizona Coyotes.

Then the Canadian youngsters recalled that they were not immune to costly mistakes during a seesaw performance in a loss to the Dallas Stars on Saturday.

« At five against five, I didn’t hate our game, » said head coach Martin St-Louis after the 5-2 loss to the Stars. We have made too many turnovers, but there are also positives to remember. And we will correct the mistakes.”

St-Louis pointed out that the Stars’ forecheck had bothered the Canadiens’ players and that his squad had to learn to better manage this pressure.

The good news is that St. Louis also noted that his troops were a leap or two away from tying the game.

However, errors and defeats should not erode the confidence of young Canadian players.

« A lot of times a player coming into the league is going to be excited, but he can also be nervous and afraid to make big plays, » said forward Jake Evans. Our young players are fearless and they make daring plays. There was (Kaiden) Guhle the other time with a great pass for Nick (Suzuki). Tonight was Arber’s (Xhekaj) turn. »

Xhekaj had a goal and an assist in the loss to the Stars. However, he admitted to having been guilty of a few errors. He remains fired up after six NHL games.

« I feel good boy, I’m confident, » said the 21-year-old Ontarian. I have to work on my space management and trust my skating, know that I won’t get burned. And with the puck, I have more and more confidence to attempt plays at the blue line and shoot the puck.

Defender Joel Edmundson reunited with his teammates in practice on Saturday. A return to play could therefore be approaching in his case, as in that of striker Joel Armia.

The time for decisions could come soon when their return would require the dismissal of a defenseman and a forward in the American League, if the rest of the group remains healthy by then.

The Canadian was off on Sunday. He’ll return to practice on Monday, then host the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday.

Evans assured that the young players will not have lost their enthusiasm.

“I haven’t seen a difference from their side yet. They continue to bring a breath of fresh air and great energy to the arena. And they continue to look good on the ice,” he insisted.

In addition, goaltender Carey Price will meet the media on Monday in Brossard, around noon, to provide an update on his state of health.

(function(d, s, id){ var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) {return;} js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = ""; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));


Back to top button